Yorkshire kept their t20 hopes alive with a 12-run win over Northants Steelbacks at Wantage Road despite collapsing from 87-1 to 144 all out from their 20 overs. The Steelbacks skipper, Andrew Hall took 4-23 after Joe Sayers belied his tag as a 4-day blocker to smash 44 runs off 34 balls to claim the Man of the Match award.
Hall had won the toss and Yorkshire lost Andrew Gale for 7 when he failed to hit Luke Evans over Lee Daggett at mid-on. Adam Lyth, whose trademark timing has never deserted him, cracked 20 from 18 balls, but chipped Hall to James Middlebrook at extra-cover after hitting a six in the same direction the ball before. Lyth had added 71 for the 2nd wicket with Sayers.
Sayers then played a rare loose shot and was caught behind off Daggett and Carnegie lost their heads. Jonny Bairstow (5) was bowled by Hall and Joe Root (8) found Alex Wakely at long-on off Johan Botha.
Ajmal Shahzad cracked 12 from 5 balls including a big six over long-on off Middlebrook before being bowled by the former Yorkshire spinner. Hall then dismissed Gary Ballance (10) who edged behind and Richard Pyrah was lbw next ball as Yorkshire lost two-in-two balls in the 17th over. Adil Rashid (5) edged Daggett behind and Ryan Sidebottom was run out attempting a non-existent 2 on the final ball.
Yorkshire’s 144 did not appear enough, but their bowling and fielding was top-class particularly in the first 4 overs. Bilal Shafayat went for a duck in the second over when he was trapped lbw to Shahzad’s first delivery and it was 9 balls before Northants got the scoreboard ticking. Niall O’Brien (1) hit Sidebottom to a tumbling Azeem Rafiq at mid-off.
Alex Wakely made 38 off 33 deliveries. Rob White crawled to 12 off 19 balls before being caught leg before by Pyrah to leave the hosts struggling on 27 for three, but Wakely hung around before holing out by launching Pyrah to Ballance at mid-off.
Botha was run out for 11 when Sidebottom touched Rob Newton’s straight drive on to the stumps before the same man trapped Newton lbw for 37 two balls later. Hall (10) was bowled by Shahzad in the penultimate over, and Middlebrook and Jack Brooks – despite scoring nine each – could not recover the situation.
JAMES BUTTLER in NORTHAMPTON
As Headingley is lit up by the England v Sri Lanks ODI Yorkshire are searching for their own light switch as they bid to turn on their charge to the Friends Life t20 Quarter-Finals.
A washout at Edgbaston and defeats at New Road and Grace Road have left Yorkshire teetering on the brink. In 8th place in the Northern Group a victory this evening against a Northants Steelbacks side that currently prop up the table with only one win in their 9 matches is a must.
The Tykes have six games left to reignite their campaign.